Down Syndrome Association of Peel (DSAP)
DSAP is a grassroots, not-for-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness, networking and advocating around the issues and concerns that individuals and/or their families may face. The lack of easily accessible information, the excessive strain on both time and resources, along with the emotional upheaval can be challenging. DSAP is here to provide support, networking, and education.
History of DSAP
DSAP was founded in May 2011 as Down Syndrome Awareness of Peel by six families who all had children with Down syndrome that attended the same Region of Peel Daycare Centre. The six families became quite close and would meet once a month to network and share information. After about one year, the families reached out to other families within the other Region of Peel Centres and formed a support group. The need for networking and education was growing and the families made the decision to create a not-for-profit association dedicated to the Peel community and the Down Syndrome Awareness of Peel was formed.
In 2017, Down Syndrome Awareness of Peel joined forces with another not-for-profit group called The Caring Network for Challenged Kids and expanded its offerings to all age groups. The Caring Network had been around for 30 years and had a similar vision and the amalgamation was the best thing that could have happened. With the merger of both associations, Down Syndrome Association of Peel (DSAP) was created, along with DSAP Baby, DSAP Kids, and DSAP Adults.
DSAP has grown its presence in the Region of Peel and has developed many positive partnerships with the Canadian Down Syndrome Society, Down Syndrome Association of Ontario, William Osler Heath System, Infant and Child Development Services Peel, Peel District School Board, Dufferin-Peel District School Board, and the Region of Peel. DSAP is continually looking for volunteers to help raise awareness and help give back to the community.
What We Do
We are one of the few Down syndrome groups in Ontario to hold regular and monthly meetings for all of our members centered around focused age groups. The meetings are designed to
- Introduce guest speakers whose area of expertise may be of particular value to our members.
- Allow our members to network with other families.
- Discuss issues that our members are facing and, if possible, offer assistance.
In addition, we also do home visits within the community, for new parents or for parents that need assistance with transitioning their child in school or into adulthood. We also provide one-on-one assistance when families need support advocating in school boards and will attend care conferences or IPRC’s.
We also hold numerous fun events throughout the year, including:
- “Low-sensory Movie Days”
- Picnics, Gala Dinners
- Christmas parties
- Halloween parties